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A shoestring traveller

by Sherrie

Could you do Europe for 7 weeks on a shoestring?

YES! It is definitely possible!

I had a budget of $3.5K in Australian dollars, plus $AUD500 stashed away for accommodation expenses.

The main worry I had was:

Would the money last me the whole 7 weeks?

To my surprise, it did. And I came home with just under $400 in my pocket. Pretty impressive, hey.

It helped that I had prepaid most of transport around Europe – lucky I did before the Australian dollar took a dive right before I flew out. The cheapest way to travel through Europe is by bus/coach – I would say I spent in a total of $150 on bus tickets around Europe. I travelled with various coach companies – the best one would have to be MegaBus (they also service USA and Canada, and they’re unbelievably cheap too!).

I booked a flight from London to Sofia last November – lucky I did because the prices had gone right up into the sky a week before I went! I grabbed the flight ticket for only £119 with British Airways – and it had gone up to approximately £650 the week before my departure date…!!! Always a great idea to book flights, bus tickets and the like, months in advance so you save a lot of money, especially if you keep a careful eye on the exchange rate.

The majority of accommodation I stayed was in hostels across Europe, although I splurged a little and got myself a cute little room at a hotel in Paris. So good. Why would one need to travel in luxury, when you can appreciate the most simplest things while travelling…? All hostels I stayed at were fantastic – and I didn’t have anything bad to say about them. They’ve all been quirky in their own ways. I also saved shitloads of money by couchsurfing in Amsterdam for 4 nights – now that is an experience I would recommend for every traveller to tick off their bucket list. Reviews about hostels/hotel coming in another post 🙂

I don’t like to shop a lot – and that definitely helped – but I did shop in London. Hey, their stores and markets are amazing – especially Camden Town! I’m in love with that town. Sigh.

Food and drinks are so unbelievably cheap in Europe, which also helped. Alcohol – wow, don’t get me started on how cheap they are over in Europe. Supermarkets are amazing – I love love love their range of sandwiches, and how they’re so cheap. I’ve never had so many sandwiches and baguettes in my life. Speaking of baguettes – OMFG they do it better in Europe!!

Europe is not as astronomical as people make it to be – you just need to have some common sense when it comes to budgeting and spending while travelling.

What I’ve learnt about travelling on a shoestring is that you tend to appreciate the simplest things better – especially that it’s good to have some luxury (however you define it yourself – for me, luxury is just a private room with an ensuite so I don’t have to share with others – not some crazy ass presidential suite…!!)

I reckon my next trip will be also shoestring 😉

Happy tight-arse travels!

S xo

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